Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day Entertaining

Summer is just around the corner, the weather is finally warming, and yes, I know we are all thinking it, we can finally wear white without anyone shooting you a judgmental look along with the snide remark of “don’t they know that you aren’t supposed to wear white after Labor Day.” So yes, now is the perfect time to put on your favorite white outfit and throw an all white Memorial Day Bash celebrating the start of summer! Whether big or small, in your lavish backyard or on the terrace of your city apartment, I have some great ideas that will make your party a hit!
Let’s start off talking about décor. Shouldn’t be too difficult since everything should be white! Remember the one thing I always stress is to start off by “shopping at home.” Try and use items that you already have in the house, this will keep costs down. You will be surprised to find items in your home that you can use that you would have never even thought of! For example, if you have any left over white candles from a New Year’s Eve party they will work great as an addition to your centerpiece! But, just in the case you do not have everything you need for your all white Memorial Day Bash, don’t stress. White tablecloths and napkins are easy to find all year long and can be used over and over again. If you plan on doing a lot of entertaining this summer, I am positive you will get your money’s worth out of purchasing these items. Also, keep in mind that the Fourth of July is just around the corner! Many of the things you use for this entertaining extravaganza can be reused for a Fourth of July BBQ!
Speaking of centerpieces, don’t forget about flowers! Flowers don’t have to be expensive nor intimidating. Go to your local flower market, grocery store or florist and purchase a bunch of white carnations. What?! Did I just hear a gasp? carnations?! Yes, you heard me right, I did say carnations! Carnations have a bad rap for being a cheap and ugly flower or filler in overpriced under designed arrangements. But I beg to differ. Carnations are a great flower to use in tight clusters and to tell you the truth; no one will even notice they are carnations. However, if you are unwilling to give the carnations a chance you can stick with white spider mums, they are a beautiful flower, relatively inexpensive and they offer texture with fullness and modern elegance.
When I think of fun summer décor I think of pinwheels. Style Me Pretty has wonderful tips for DIY (do-it-yourself) pinwheels that you can create in any color (perhaps red, white, and blue or yellow to honor our troops). Let’s not forget what Memorial Day is really all about. This is a weekend to honor our troops who have fought and are currently fighting for our freedom. Therefore, adding a splash of yellow in your decorations will serve as a reminder to your guests to that we are all thinking about our troops.
These pinwheels do not only serve as a great decoration, but they can also be used as guest favors and/or place cards. These pinwheels will be sure to add a smile to your guests’ faces and will be a little reminder of days gone by; all the while keeping the kids entertained!
Now onto the good stuff, the food! Since this is your first party of the summer, why don’t we keep it simple! Everyone loves burgers, so bring out the grill and serve up some tasty Blue Cheese Burgers. Adding Blue Cheese to your classic burger will step it up a notch and take them to the next level. The ingredients are simple! Go to your local grocery store and buy ground chuck and ground sirloin, brioche buns, red leaf lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and Danish Blue Cheese. I personally recommend combining the ground chuck and ground sirloin in order to make the meat extra juicy and delicious. That’s all you need to fire these burgers onto the grill and your guests’ mouths will be watering in no time!
As a compliment to the burger, why don’t you serve tasty white corn on the cob? This can be served plain, or my personal favorite what I like to call, “Wally’s White Corn.” It’s simple! All you do is grill the corn on the barbeque, roll it in mayonnaise, and then roll it in Parmesan cheese. You are done in less than five minutes for this scrumptious side dish!
For a fun dessert idea, I LOVE these festive cookies from Eleni’s New York! You can choose a patriotic look or go for the “cookie cookout” which goes great with your Memorial Day Bash! Visit to find out more about her company and ordering information. Her cookies and cupcakes are great for any occasion!
Another fantastic idea for dessert is to do a “create your own ice cream sundae” station. This is easy and inexpensive! Just go to the store and buy your favorite Vanilla ice cream as well as a variety of fresh, festive berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. Don’t forget whipped cream, cherries, and sprinkles! Guests will be able to make their own version of a red, white, and blue sundae exactly to their liking!
No party is complete without a festive cocktail, especially when you are kicking off the summer season! (at least no party that I am hosting!) A signature drink such as a White Sangria will be sure to keep the conversation flowing! Real Simple has a great and “simple” White Sangria recipe that serves 6! The ingredients you need are 6 cups of Chardonnay, ¼ cup superfine sugar, 1 cup white grape juice, 1 ripe nectarine that has been pitted and cut into thin wedges, 1 tangerine that has been thinly sliced, 1 cup of halved seedless white grapes, and 1 cup of club soda.
In a large pitcher, combine the wine and sugar until the sugar completely dissolves. Add the remaining ingredients except for the club soda. Place the pitcher into the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, which will allow for the sangria to sweeten. When you are just about ready to serve, pour in the club soda, ice cubes, and enjoy! For the kids attending the event, you can come up with a non-alcoholic specialty cocktail or serve sparkling apple cider, which is always a hit!
Now you have all of the steps you need to throw a fantastic Memorial Day Bash! The possibilities are endless, so use your imagination and go for it! Until next time, enjoy your bash!

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